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One Simple & Impactful Swap To Make Your Bedroom More Environmentally Friendly

Author:

Quiana Darden

Medical reviewer:

Bindiya Gandhi, M.D.

December 29, 2022

Contributor

By Quiana Darden

Contributor

Quiana Darden is a freelance writer with a bachelor’s degree in Early and Elementary Education from Virginia Commonwealth University and a master’s degree in school administration from Old Dominion University.

Medical review by

Bindiya Gandhi, M.D.

Physician

Dr. Bindiya Gandhi is an American Board Family Medicine-certified physician who completed her family medicine training at Georgia Regents University/Medical College of Georgia.

Image by mbg creative

December 29, 2022

Our editors have independently chosen the products listed on this page. If you purchase something mentioned in this article, we may earn a small commission.

Furniture and appliances are responsible for approximately 30% of greenhouse gas emissions1–and that’s only the beginning of our household items’ environmental impact. In just one year, about 12 million tons of waste is generated by furniture2 in the U.S. alone. What’s more, 2017 research showed that about 80% of that waste ends up in a landfill. So, while many people might not think about the sustainability factor of their bed frame, swapping out your furniture for more eco-friendly and sustainable options can have a big impact. The best sustainable bed frames are well-made, long-lasting, and significantly better for the environment than other options.

To better understand what makes a bed frame sustainable and how to choose the best one, we spoke with experts and researched the most popular options. Below, find our picks for the best sustainable bed frames of 2023–so you can rest easy knowing you’re reducing your impact on the environment, without sacrificing sleep quality.

What makes a bed frame sustainable?

The United Nations defines sustainability as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” According to sustainability expert Vanessa McGrady, “the most sustainable bed frame you can buy is one that you’ve gotten second-hand, vintage, or upcycled.”

If you do prefer to purchase something brand new, it’s important to consider the frame’s longevity, materials, production location, and company’s sustainability practices. Some brands will also take and recycle your old bed frame for you at no added cost, which is a great perk.

How we picked:

Longevity

The more durable a bed is, the longer you’ll have it–so quality is key. Even if you decide to get rid of your bed frame years later, a quality bed will hold up for the next person it belongs to.

Materials

The companies on this list manufacture their bed frames with materials that have minimal impact on the environment. Most are made from sustainable hardwood, and even the upholstered and metal bed frames feature non-toxic and organic materials.

Practices

We looked at brands’ business practices to ensure each one has processes in place to reduce or eliminate its environmental footprint, such as supporting reforestation and keeping production in the United States.

Reviews

We read countless reviews for each option, ensuring that these bed frames are loved by the people who use them regularly.

Our picks for the best sustainable bed frames of 2023:

Best wood: Birch Natural Wood Frame

Pros:

Handmade in the United StatesEasy assembly with no tools or metal hardwareAll wood comes from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified locations

Cons:

Frame can be noisyYou can’t add a headboard

Materials: Appalachian, Southern Yellow Pine and Appalachian maple wood

Sizes Available: TwinTwin XLQueenKingCalifornia King

Trial Period: 100 nights

Warranty: 5-year

This natural bed frame is durable and made of wood from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) locations. The all-natural wood finishes are water-based, with no VOC or formaldehyde. You’ll find a combination of Appalachian hardwood, Southern Yellow Pine, and Appalachian maple wood. While it’s not a storage bed, the frame has plenty of space for under bed storage.

On the downside, the frame arrives in one long box that’s quite heavy. We do not recommend attempting to move it around without at least one extra set of hands. Once you get the bed into your desired room, however, assembling this minimalist bed that uses the Japanese joinery technique is easy. You won’t even need tools.

Best metal: Avocado Metal Bed Frame

Pros:

Tool-free assemblyMade from recycled steel in the United States

Cons:

Some customers report receiving damaged or defective piecesConfusion around who is responsible for assembly

Materials: Hardened steelFiberglass infused resin

Sizes Available: TwinFullQueenCalifornia King

Trial Period: 365 nights

Warranty: 10-year

Avocado is dedicated to sustainability and has landed a spot on many of our mattress round ups. Fortunately, the brand uses the same level of care with its bed frames. The metal comes from melting down reclaimed railroad steel. Even the furnace used for manufacturing is powered by naturally occurring methane gas.

You’ll enjoy a restful night’s sleep on this bed frame that’s sturdy and built to last. Just add the proper foundation and nontoxic mattress, and you’re good to go! Plus, even if you’re an active sleeper, this frame won’t squeak.

The bed frame ships with well-designed recyclable packaging that provides you with just enough of what you need. Since Avocado is a carbon-negative company, it offsets more than 100% of emissions from resource extraction to shipping.

People rave about this Avocado bed frame, with an average 4.8-star rating out of 5, based on 217 reviews. Customers say it is easy to assemble and of excellent quality, but there does seem to be a bit of confusion around who is responsible for assembly.

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Best for kids: Sprout Montessori Birch Floor Bed

Pros:

Holds up to 250 poundsNo tools needed, 15-minute assembly processManufactured and designed in the United States

Cons:

Your mattress might not fit perfectly on the frame

Materials: Baltic birch

Sizes Available: Crib sizeTwinFull

Trial Period: None mentioned

Warranty: 5-year

Designed for toddlers and children of all ages, this floor bed is strong enough to hold 250 lb, yet accessible enough for the youngest child. As your child grows, you can flip the bed frame over to make it a platform bed. It’s made from durable baltic birch and features a smooth finish with no VOC and a UV-cured finish which is safe for children and the environment.

Reviewers say this bed is high quality, easy to assemble, and lasts for a long time. One parent writes, “I introduced this to my daughter when she was 14 mo and it has been a hit ever since. I love ALL Sprout Kids furniture and this bed is no exception! This is beautifully made, easy to put together, and looks beautiful. In hindsight I wish I vetoed a crib altogether and went with a floor bed from the start!”

Best affordable: Floyd Adjustable Bed Frame

Pros:

Made in the United StatesFrame is modular so if a part messes up you can order a new oneIf you want a larger bed you can buy an expansion pack

Cons:

Complaints about the color of the bed not matching the color in the picture

Materials: Birch veneerBirch plywoodHoneycomb corePowder coated steelNylon ratchet straps

Sizes Available: TwinFullQueenKing

Trial Period: None mentioned

Warranty: 1-year

This adjustable bed frame is one of the most affordable sustainable bed frames. It’s made from natural renewable materials, sustainably-sourced wood birch veneer, and powder steel supports. You’ll also find birch plywood with an engineered lightweight core and honeycomb core for the panels.

What truly makes this bed frame unique is the fact that it’s adjustable. If you need a bigger bed, simply order an expansion piece and a mattress to fit the new size.

The frame arrives in recyclable cardboard and paper-based packaging. You’ll find that it’s easy to put together, and is assembled using nylon ratchet straps–so there’s no need for tools or screws.

With over 1,000 ratings, this bed frame has a perfect 5-star rating overall. Reviewers rave about its sturdiness and quality, with one writing, “The perfect bed. This bed is excellent and sturdier than any other bed I’ve owned. The build quality is good, and assembly is easy.” Some people do complain that the colors do not match what appears in the images.

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Best upholstered: Medley Bramo Bed

Pros:

Handcrafted in CaliforniaMid-century modern styleMade without harsh chemicals or fire retardants

Cons:

Long wait time for shippingAssembly instructions are not very clear

Materials: Fiberguard yarnThom woodCertiPUR-US(R) certified poly foamFSC Certified solid Alder hardwood

Sizes Available: TwinFullQueenKing

Trial Period: 30 nights

Warranty: Lifetime

If you’re on the hunt for a traditional upholstered bed, but don’t want to sacrifice sustainability, this non-toxic, 100% natural bed frame is for you. It’s well-band and durable, and is bacteria, mildew, and mold-resistant. Materials include kiln-dried domestic FSC Certified solid Alder hardwood, fiber guard yarn, Thom wood, and CertiPUR-US certified poly foam.

For delivery, choose from self assembly or white glove delivery for an additional $175. With white glove delivery, the brand will send a team to hand deliver and assemble your bed in the room of your choice.

With only five customer reviews, there is not a ton of feedback on this bed. That said, each one of these customers gave the frame a perfect five-star rating. Reviewers comment on the great quality and love the fact that it is non-toxic. One person mentions that there are no installation or assembly instructions included.

Best for easy assembly: Thuma the Bed

Pros:

Made from repurposed woodGREENGUARD Gold Certified for low chemical emissions

Cons:

Not fully made in the United States

Materials: HandcraftedRepurposed woodFelt made from recycled plastics

Sizes Available: TwinFullQueenKingCalifornia KingDaybed

Trial Period: 100 nights

Warranty: Lifetime

This brand makes a high-quality sustainable bed frame using repurposed wood, which gives each frame a unique look. The PillowBoard (pillow and headboard hybrid) design features CertiPUR-US certified foam and a 100% polyester pebbled linen-weave cover. Finally, the slats are lined with eco-fi felt, made from recycled plastics.

If you’re hesitant about putting together a bed on your own, put those concerns aside. This bed frame can be easily assembled without any tools at all, using the Japanese joinery technique (clearly outlined in the accompanying instructions).

The bed frame will arrive in 3 narrow boxes with no excess packaging. The small boxes are easy to maneuver, and buyers rave about the packaging, calling it “nothing short of perfect.” The bed frame itself has over 12,000 reviews and still maintains a 4.9 out of 5-star rating overall. Customers refer to the frame as “beautiful and amazing,” and many say they wish they purchased it sooner. One says it is “art piece quality and a miracle of ease in assembly.”

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Best with storage: Vermont Woods Moduluxe Storage Bed

Pros:

Handmade in VermontMade with eco-friendly sustainably-harvested natural woods12 stain options and 2 hardwood choices to fit your bedroom design

Cons:

Brand doesn’t share packaging detailsBuilt to order, so lead and transit time is 12 to 18 weeks

Materials: North American hardwood, grown natively in local forests

Sizes Available: QueenKingCalifornia King

Trial Period: None mentioned

Warranty: Lifetime

This storage bed combines eco-friendly sustainability with efficiency. It’s handmade using sustainably-harvested North American natural woods– and, because it’s produced in the USA, the brand enlists local woodworkers, sawmill operators, and loggers for manufacturing. The bed features four 8-inch deep, sub-mounted drawers for all your storage needs. Plus, you can choose from many color options, including smoked cherry and bright white maple.

You’ll be glad to hear this brand offers free set-up and installation by a white glove delivery crew. All you have to do is tell the company where to set up, and they’ll handle the rest from there.

This eco-friendly bed frame only has a couple reviews so far, but both come with perfect five-star ratings. “It’s better than my expectations and very easy to assemble,” one person writes.

How to choose a sustainable bed frame

When determining which bed frame is right for you, consider the below criteria. Of course, be mindful of size and space as well.

Material: Look for a bed without chemicals, vinyl, or plastic. If you’re seeking a wooden bed, try to find one made using wood from a sustainably-managed and certified forest.

Lifespan: McGrady recommends staying within your budget but opting for the best quality you can find, so you can feel confident about your purchase. Consider speaking with an expert or a representative from the brand to determine how long the frame would take to decompose in a landfill.

Manufacturing location: The closer the item is to you during production, the less the environmental impact it typically has. That’s why products produced in the United States are your best bet. If a brand’s factories are overseas, there will likely be increased greenhouse gas emissions needed to get the bed frame from the factory to the store or to your front door.

Working conditions: Is the brand known for providing a safe working environment without exposure to toxic chemicals or harmful conditions? These are important things to consider when determining which brands to shop with.

FAQ:

What is the most environmentally friendly bed?

The most environmentally friendly bed frame is one that you get secondhand. However, if you’re going to buy a new bed, select one made from sustainable materials using sustainable practices, like one of the products on our list.

Do all bed frames contain formaldehyde?

Formaldehyde is an odorless, colorless gas used to make bed frames, among other things. The gas has been linked to cancer risks, yet many bed frames contain it. When shopping, make sure the bed you choose is labeled as formaldehyde-free, like the options on our list.

How can I make my bedroom more eco-friendly?

According to McGrady, you should repurpose items and shop at thrift and secondhand stores whenever you can. Also, avoid harsh air fresheners and instead opt for natural essential oils and cleaners to keep the air clean.

Do metal bed frames cause health issues?

Many believe that metal frames lead to electrical pollution in your bedroom, but there is not substantial research to back this up.

The takeaway.

A lot goes into living a sustainable lifestyle; your bed frame is just the tip of the iceberg. To continue leaning into a sustainable sleeping environment, you might consider swapping out your bedding for one of these best organic comforters or upgrading to a more eco-friendly latex mattress.

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